I read a post the other day where a mediator was required to settle a dispute between an agency and a business owner. I thought to myself, wow, what could have possibly gone wrong to warrant such a conversation? As I thought about it more, it became clear to me that the agency wasn’t interested in being a partner for their client, but just wanted to provide their services in the most rigid way possible.
If you were to hire a marketing agency, and they presented you lined items that created a strict scope of work, how would that make you feel? Would you truly feel like your business is being looked after in the best way? Would you feel like this agency has a vested interest in your success? Or would you feel like all they are interested in is taking your money and running?
While I don’t want to paint agencies with the same brush, all too often, it’s the latter. In fact, I was having a conversation with a potential new client, and they were telling me the challenges they have had finding help with their marketing and how jaded they were after being taken advantage of multiple times. To me, it was extremely disappointing to hear.
With an agency, typically but not always, if you are smaller, you will have junior marketers managing your account and your business whereas the more experienced marketers are used for larger accounts. Agencies typically follow a set of guidelines where the services they provide are very black and white. What I mean by that, is that they define what they will do, and that is all. Maybe it’s to build a website and only optimize 2 keywords, or maybe it’s a social media campaign that is limited to only 3 posts per month. Whatever the case may be, business owners need to ask themselves, “is this what I would do for my business to ensure it’s successful”? What if you want to discuss new strategies? What if you want to bounce ideas around to get pros and cons from another perspective? What if you really don’t understand marketing and need proper and trusted sound advice? Would you feel confident that would be what you’re getting without being charged for it?
There are a ton of questions small business owners need to ask themselves, but let me offer a different perspective for you.
Look for a Marketing Partner!
Having a marketing partner means having someone in your corner who not only understands the vast landscape that is marketing, but will provide you the best advice you need to help you grow your business, while using their knowledge and toolbelt to get you there. Having a marketing partner means that you can count on someone who knows what they’re talking about. Someone who will communicate with you what they are doing, why they are doing it, and the benefits you can expect. They keep you up to speed, keep you in the loop and do what they need to, in order to help bring success for your business while at the same time, providing a valuable educational component. They are a sounding board for new ideas and should bring ideas to the table for you to think about while you work together to hammer out the details that they can take with them to action. They offer value…. Let me repeat that again for those in the back. They offer value! And should take pride in the work they are doing that is unique for you and your business.
We all understand that there is a cost for doing business, but there is a big difference in the value that you get from that cost, and the value should provide you, beyond any doubt, confidence that you make the right choice for your business and that you have the right marketing partner you can lean on and trust.